Authors And Alcohol: The Paris Years

These three authors are literary greats and they were all present in Paris at the same time,

enjoying a lifestyle of creative endeavor and alcohol…

The great and the good of historical literary figures seem more often than not to have had a fairly intimate relationship with alcohol. It appears to have just gone with the territory. What follows are a list of some of the most influential writers who were all present in post WW1 Paris and couldn’t say no to a drink.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Author of the almost unsurpassable The Great Gatsby, Francis (that’s what the F stood for) was a heavy drinker from early in his college years. His work and he himself are seen as symbols of the Jazz Age and with good reason. Not only did he come up with the term, but his lifestyle and the people he surrounded himself with in 1920s Paris were absolutely indicative of the artistic revelry.

Unfortunately his drinking was epic and led him into seriously poor health during the 30s. He suffered from tuberculosis though biographers do argue over whether or not this was truly the case, with some speculating it was used as a cover for his drinking problems. Fitzgerald finally succumbed in 1940 to a second, and huge, heart attack. He was 44.

Ernest Hemmingway

Present in the revelry of Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age was his good friend Ernest Hemmingway. The two shared an intense and vivacious friendship. Becoming part of the ‘Lost Generation’ a term he popularized during his Paris years the abandon of which he and his cohorts’ lives were lived is no secret. And after being introduced to James Joyce the pair became well known for their ‘alcoholic sprees’.

Hemmingway’s love of a beverage turned to alcoholism in his later years and was compounded by other health and mental issues. The result in 1961 was after treatment for severe depression and release from hospital Hemmingway took his own life.

James Joyce

Renowned for his works that include Ulysses and Finnegans Wake Joyce is undoubtedly one of the most significant writers of the 20th century. Growing up in Dublin he was often found boozing and causing plenty of trouble, seemingly being quick to anger and always involved in an altercation of sorts. After two such instances, one involving a pistol being fired at him by the student he lived with Joyce headed to Europe.

He lived in Trieste and Zurich for the next period of his life and after 16 years was invited to Paris by Erza Pound, a friend of both Fitzgerald and Hemmingway. Joyce stayed for 20 years. During his time there his lifestyle continued as he’d become accustomed and he died after surgery for a perforated ulcer in 1941.

Attached Images:

When not trying to live like a Parisian author of the Jazz Age, Sam Michaels writes for Find Me A Gift, taking a particular interest in their exceptional range of wine gifts.

 

Igniting Your Creativity

A My Blog Guest Special Feature

Tips on Inspiration and Creativity

Igniting your creativity

Being creative is not just something that happens to people accidentally. You might start off with a spur of excitement concerning one idea or concept, but when it comes down to remaining creative over a longer period of time most people struggle. The term writer’s block is famous amongst all those working in a profession where creating text is key, but similar concepts apply to those in performing arts, visual artists and other creative professions. This article will provide a few tips on how you can maintain your creativity and potentially enhance it.

Listen to music

Music can set the mood for your day, but it can also help spark that creative light in you. If you feel stuck and don’t know how to move forward with a project, create a playlist that will push you forward. If you are writing, think about what your character would listen to or what genre your interview objects are interested in. If you are painting or creating visual art focus on the mood of the idea you already have and search online for artists reflecting that mood. Look at their lyrics and see where they take you. Maybe you find a story in them that compliments what you are working with, or maybe you are taken in an entirely new direction. Either or, it is sure to stir something up you can use.

Write it down

You never know when a great idea would come to mind. It can sneak up on you and take you completely by surprise. This is why so many artists and writers carry a notebook around with them. Take little bullet point notes of what you see, experience, feel and it can come in handy when you are trying to recall a memory or find inspiration later on. If you have a blank wall in your home hang up a large chalkboard. These won’t ruin the style of your home, and can be a valuable tool when you want to stay creative. Write down your bullet points on the board as soon as you come back home, then draw or expand on those bullet points. The chalk board will stop you from hanging post-its or having loose pieces of paper floating around, and it will allow you to gather all your ideas in one place.

Use the Internet

If you are stuck, there is nothing worse than just staring at your screen or your work. However, use the internet and get inspired. Use search engines to find images, music, text and so on about the topic you are working with. This might sound obvious but there is more to it than this. Look at the bullet points you made on your chalk board or notepad. Make a spider diagram by putting in words and phrases you find online. Soon you will start to see a red threat in you notes and this is the path you should follow when you feel ready to start work again.

Do not stop
Make sure you don’t let the block take over. If you feel stuck maybe you have gone down the wrong path. It is never too late to start over. The project you have developed can be picked back up at a later date when you might have had new experiences and challenges that will help you finish it. You are in charge of your creativity so don’t let the block control you, take charge.

Bio:
Ingunn is a creative personality writing about the arts and interior decorating, with a special love for chalkboards.

 

Your Photograph in a Jar

This handy and nifty infographic from JAF Gifts gives you a step by step guide on how to create an instant vintage-looking keepsake for your most treasured photographs! Forget about photo albums and frames…the Mason jar DIY project is bound to become a hit with family, friends, and guests once you place it in a prominent location in your home.

The Mason Photo Jar is a also great idea for rustic, country-style wedding centerpieces and other special occasions honoring a certain person or group of people. Simply pick out some favorite photographs (preferably in black and white or sepia) and a few mason jars (available at JAF Gifts). Make sure the pictures fit in the jars! When you’ve wrapped the picture (image side showing outside of the glass, of course) inside the jar, pour some vegetable oil (olive oil gives a nice, greenish tinge) until it covers the entire picture.This will ensure that the photograph is suspended in the oil without ruining it.

Place a dried flower stalk at the other side of the jar the picture does not cover. Cover the jar tightly with the lid, and place the jars strategically on shelves, book cases, bedside tables, and just about anywhere you want to look and smile at memories that have been given a creative, vintage-y boost!

Source: JAF Gifts

 

 

Making the Leap from an Advanced Hobbyist to a Professional Photographer

 

 

If photography is your passion, there will eventually come a time when you’ll consider turning your hobby into a career. Nothing is more satisfying than making a living doing something that you love, but you must carefully consider all of the variables and also take certain steps to ensure that your career will be successful.

There is a lot of truth to the saying that a camera doesn’t make the photographer; even the most expensive equipment won’t help those who have no eye for photography. Therefore it is not necessary to run out and purchase all of the most expensive camera equipment. When you’re scouring your local ads for DSLR deals, it’s best to keep in mind that investing in quality glass is actually more important than the camera body. Any skilled photographer with at least a Digital Rebel will have the ability to turn out high quality, professional photographs.

Once you decide that you want to cultivate a photography career it will become imperative to choose a specialty. While it is important to diversify, you’ll do your best work, and therefore build the best reputation, by doing photography that appeals to you. The first major distinction to make is between fine art work and portrait work. If your passion lies with nature or architecture photography then your best bet will be to market your photography to genre specific magazines, at art fairs and via an online store. If photographing children is more your cup of tea, however, then you’ll need to invest in quality backgrounds, portrait lenses and a light kit. Again, there is no rule that states that you can’t do both portrait and fine art photography, but focusing more on one of the two options will yield the best results.

 

Six Important Things to Know about the Life of a Professional Photographer:

1.) If you work for yourself, then you’ll have to pay all of your taxes each year at tax time. Keep records on everything that you purchase for your business and be sure to track your mileage, too. You will not be able to fill out your taxes on an EZ form, so you may wish to consult with a professional tax preparer. Your state or county may also require you to maintain a sales tax license in order to sell your services, so be sure to check into your local guidelines.

2.) Marketing and word of mouth are everything. Invest in quality business cards and make sure to place ads in all applicable places. Vflyer.com offers free Craigslist templates, which will allow you to stand out from the crowd. You should also consider offering a referral discount for clients who send you new business.

3.) Model releases are critical for photographers who are interested in selling their work. If a person’s identity can be discerned in the photograph, then you need a signed model release before you attempt to sell the image.

4.) Professional photographers who photograph other people need to invest in liability insurance, along with insurance on their equipment. Without liability insurance, you could end up losing everything if someone gets hurt during a shoot.

5.) Never shoot without a contract. Sample contracts are available online, but make sure that the verbiage adheres to all of your local and state laws.

6.) Don’t give away your work for free. Doing so sets a bad precedent and will make it difficult to charge people in the future.

Are you considering making the leap or have you recently done so? Share your stories and tips below.

 

7 of the Best Musical Movies That Stand the Test of Time

Musical movies aren’t for everyone, but every once in a while a great one comes along to grab a large audience. While they have evolved over the years, many of the basic elements remain the same. It all boils down to musical numbers and an awesome soundtrack. And if you happen to love the characters and you’re engaged in the story, then it makes it even more powerful. Hollywood doesn’t produce musical movies at the rate it once did, but they will forever be an important part of our culture. Not all of them are remembered and universally loved, but there are a few that stand the test of time. Let’s take a look at some of the best that feature musical numbers you can probably sing right now.

Moulin Rouge – not everyone “got” this movie, but those who did absolutely fell in love with it. While it didn’t feature original songs, they were presented in a way that was truly unique. This movie revitalized old songs and made them new again. Throw in an attractive cast, beautiful choreography, and elaborate sets, and you have a formula for success. This is definitely one movie that you can plop into your DVD right now and enjoy all over again.

High School Musical – this might be the most controversial item on the list, and some might argue that the series popularity has long since faded. But you have to remember what an extreme phenomenon the High School Musical craze was. You can see its influence in musical artists, and especially in a show like Glee. It made singing and dancing cool again when things were starting to get cynical. And if you happen to watch the original right now, you’ll notice that everyone was at the top of their game. It’s definitely a flick that teenagers will grow up and remember in the future.

The Muppets – Jim Henson’s beloved creations have always had musical numbers in their movies. But who knew that Jason Segal would do such a stellar job with his rendition? He wrote the scripts, and had a hand in all of the songs. The overall package is a beautiful blend of traditional and new Muppet music. Let’s not forget all the laughs and smart writing contained in the movie. This is the Muppet comeback we’ve all been waiting for, and some might say it’s better than the original movies.

Beauty and the Beast – you can pick almost any movie of the Disney cartoon era, and it would stand the test of time. But this one in particular has some of the best songs of any generation. They are highly hummable and they make you feel just like you did when you were watching the movie. Speaking of the film itself, it reminds us of an age before CGI. It’s impressive to see what actual human beings can do with traditional animation and even more important, when combined with a beautiful soundtrack.

The Wizard of Oz – there is no doubt this classic will be remembered forever. You probably already seen it once, but it’s definitely worth revisiting. If you want to make it more interesting, take a look at some of the history behind the movie. Learning about how it was made reveals how impressive the challenges were. Without the benefit of special effects or high-tech makeup, the filmmakers were still able to create a classic with some of the most memorable songs around.

Grease – when it comes to fund and cheesy musicals, there really is nothing better. At the heart of the story is a tale of love, and that’s why this movie endures. No matter how silly you might think it is, everyone can relate thanks to a steller love story. And even a few decades later, it’s hard to deny the catchiness of the tunes. The cast has definitely gotten older in the real world, but they’ll forever remain young in this movie.

Rocky Horror Picture Show – the next time you’re looking for something fun to do on Halloween, make sure to revisit this movie. The new generation enjoys it with irony, while old fans love it for what it is. You can dress up and sing along, and any major urban area will undoubtedly have gatherings of fans. This is definitely a movie where you let go of your inhibitions to watch. And singing along makes it even more fun, especially when you’re surrounded by people who love this crazy film.

One of the best ways to experience these films is with karaoke in the privacy of your own home. You can pick out your favorite tracks and sing them with your friends. This article comes from the Karaoke Machine Guide where you can check out a list here of the best equipment that can turn your living room into a party palace where you can relive some of these classic movies.

Five Best Social Networks for Artists

Top Five Social Networks for Artists

Another installment of creative gems in blogging via MyBlogGuest.com

As an artist who wants to make a career out of your talent and passion, you know how important it is to connect with other like-minded individuals. Being an artist isn’t just about creating art; it’s also about being part of a creative community. And while art is a true form of self-expression, it serves a greater purpose when it’s shared with others rather than kept to the artist alone. The Internet is one of the greatest resources you have as an artist to build your contacts and get exposure. There are lots of vibrant artistic communities online waiting for you to discover. Here are some of the best social networks for artists.

DeviantART.com

DeviantART is one of the largest and most diverse communities of artists online. It has more than 12 million members to date, and they’re showcasing more than 100 million original works. On deviantART, you can create your own personal gallery and portfolio with an unlimited number of works. You can get feedback from other artists, and there are many groups you can join in order to connect with more specific communities. You can even sell prints of your work and buy work from others.

Artrise.com

For the more professionally-minded artist, Artrise is a great community for connecting with people who are active in the art industry. You can build and showcase your portfolio, network with other artists, and brose the awesome and diverse gallery. There are also event listing to help you connect with artists out in the real world, and art job listings that can help you find a position in the industry. There are also active groups like Opera and Classical Music where you can find others with similar interests.

ArtSlant.com

Artslant is an artistic community focusing on contemporary and modern art. Here you’ll find information on all the latest developments, exhibits, news, and events in the contemporary art world. There are different Artslant sites for major cities worldwide, including Los Angeles, New York, and Paris. With an Artslant professional profile, you can exhibit up to 60 of your works and connect with many major players in the art world. Browse listings for shows, jobs, and get noticed.

Artbistro.com

ArtBistro is powered by Monster, so it’s an ideal place for artists looking to break into the world of paid and professional artistry. All types of artists can benefit from this community. Create your personal profile and portfolio, and get valuable career information and advice on becoming a professional artist. There are job listings, as well as information on art schools.

Artists2Artists.net

On Artists2Artists you can connect with artists of all different types, and along with your portfolio, you can keep a personal blog. There are groups and forums in which to discuss all sorts of artistic concerns and visions. You can view the events calendar to find happenings in the art world near you, and there is a hefty database of great articles and information that any artist will enjoy. You can also share your portfolio here with your Facebook friends and on your website.

   Jeffrey Bruma is an aspiring artist and entrepreneur who loves to blog when he has the time. He enjoys giving advice to other artists on how best to advance their reputation.   ♦

♦  Photo Credit: Oruhito

First Poetry Feature via My Blog Guest

It Dares You To Share

(A My Blog Guest Poetry Premier!)

Going up and going down in this crazy, calm world.
Floating over the attached world we live and die in.
With no and every cause to change and stay the same,
We stay and go while we sit and stare.

Waking and sleeping into a world of reality and dreams.
Hearing in silence while speaking wordlessly,
The days go by and stop in place.
Creativity is hard to see with easy eyes to miss it.
Around and through we jump and still.
Never be the days that are always around.

As we go over the hills and through the woods,
To our grandmother’s house we go.
It stings the toes and bites the nose.
As over the ground we go, to where the sidewalk ends.
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight.

The place where the sidewalk ends is where I met a Raven.
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As if someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,’ I muttered, ‘tapping at my chamber door-
Only this, and nothing more.”

As they say to others, but don’t at all:
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

So Mary has a little lamb with its fleece as white as snow,
But everywhere we travel now, we’re not sure where to go.

With money and time never enough,
We fight with days and long nights.
Together we flock in our floating worlds.
Cemented in spaces that are firmly held.

Never time to run away with always a time to stay.
Live and love and learn to say,
With words as soft and warm as day.
To always run and fly away,
The grandma and raven to us we fray.
As the sidewalk ends and Mary way,
To a good night of gentle we shouldn’t sway.
Being of us and we of they,
Tonight and always we have to play.

So visit and live with room to think,
Strangely, sleep is often the final link.

This uniquely compiled piece is a poem featuring combinations of lines from multiple famous authors such as Shel Silvertein and Edgar Allen Poe.

The first two and last two stanzas are composed solely by Miscelleana Rhinehart.

(with words mixed in throughout to make the lines fit together.)

About The Author:
Miscelleana Rhinehart is a passionate writer, sharing her thoughts with descriptive words and creatively strung sentences. Visit her imagined thoughts and Reed more.

How To Get Perfect Skin

Kick-start your skin transformation with anti-aging natural skin products from Beautiful On Raw.

So you’ve tried all the skin-care products you could get your hands on, from the latest skin creams to the most expensive ones out on the market today. And yet, you look in the mirror and get disappointed – you still haven’t achieved that flawless younger-looking skin you’ve been dreaming of. And you’re wondering now, maybe it’s time to consult an expensive dermatologist, who in turn will prescribe costly skin medication. Now you’re thinking – Oh I don’t mind spending more money. However, if you’re skin problems are only relatively minor, there’s absolutely no reason to book that appointment and spend hundreds of dollars.

Having clean and clear skin is not difficult to achieve. It’s not like trying to solve the world’s economy crisis. It’s actually really easy. All you need to do is follow these five stress-free steps to help eliminate the skin problems that you have, or to achieve that desirable flawless skin you’ve been dreaming of. It’s really easy, try it!

Kick-start your skin transformation with anti-aging natural skin products from Beautiful On Raw.

Urban Art: A Creative Inspirations Guest Post

Creative Inspirations: Urban Art

A ‘My Blog Guest‘ Entry by Stuart Green

Urban Art

Say “urban art” to a lot of people and one of two things will generally happen. Firstly, you will get a completely blank expression as the person has no idea what you are talking about. The alternative is that they will look at you, face lighting up and say “oh yeah, like Banksy?” While Banksy would be an excellent example, urban art stretches far further than pretty paintings on the sides of buildings and on pavements. Whether it is murals, aggressive sculptures or a graffiti wall, urban art can encapsulate a whole range of ideas and creative inspirations. Thinking about the way this can influence people’s thinking, are they really a fit for modern art galleries?


cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by gillesklein

Modern Attitudes

While attitudes towards art galleries have evolved massively in recent years, they are much more inclusive and no longer seen as a middle to upper class area, there is still a certain “something” which fits well within an art gallery. It is this factor which sees the Turner art prize be so polarising, as the debate is continually opened, closed and re-opened over whether a messy bedroom, a bin, or a sculpture made out of carrier bags actually constitutes a piece of art.

Looking for an industrial unit to let in which to display your art is an excellent option for adding authenticity and an edgy twist to your art. If you are the type of artist who creates wide ranges of work, then an industrial unit to let could be the ideal blank canvas for putting your ideas to the world. One of the beauties of such buildings is that you can use as much or as little space as you want. Artists look to focus on capturing moods, and in an industrial unit there are many ways to influence how people feel.


cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by zachstern

Taking Control

There are many ways artists can manipulate the feelings of visitors to exhibitions, and more often than not it is through the art itself. Should you decide to hold an exhibition in an industrial unit to let, however, there will be far greater options at your disposal for creating a heart-stopping show. Whether it is by making a bright arena full of colour, or giving the impression of a dilapidated, abandoned old warehouse, there are many different options and ideas, no doubt limitless to those with a creative mind.

Industrial units to let are associated with many uses, try placing your art in there and watch your reputation soar.

Harworth Estates are one of the largest landowners in the UK with access to over 30,000 acres of land. They also have industrial units to let.

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Writing Your Own Music: Sound and Lyrics

Writing Your Own Music: A My Blog Guest Post on Composition in Sound, Lyric and Musical Endeavors

An Intriguing and Impressive Guest Post from rising star in creative writingNicola Winters 

Image

Writing Your Own Music by Nicola Winters

(on behalf of Phoenix Software, a student store that provides software for students)

What happens to your musical skills when you leave school for university?  You may have spent years practising your scales on whichever instrument you chose to play when you first started secondary school.  Your parents probably forked out a small fortune in lessons and there have probably been hours spent arguing and nagging about not practising enough to warrant the expense and threats of sanctions unless more practise is done.

You’re probably glad to get away from it all, but, once you’ve got yourself established at university you may surprise yourself by missing the playing of an instrument.  It’s at times like these that you may find the urge to write some music of your own and this, in turn, leads to finding like-minded people, forming a band and dreaming of making it rich without the necessity to study and hand in that next assignment!

Whilst some people are quite self-contained, apparently needing no other collaboration and relying simply on their own creativity to write music; others benefit greatly from other people’s input and welcome constructive criticism from family and friends.

People often find it relaxing to write music simply because there’s no right or wrong way to do it.  Unless you’re a student studying music composition and are following a specific curriculum; you can never really make a mistake – a refreshing change!  Collaborating with others brings so much more to the completed product in terms of originality – no other band would have that same mix of minds so you could end up with a completely unique sound.

Involving a mix of people who have skills with different instruments can also help you create your own individual sound, and if you feel you’re not making progress or you’ve hit a rough spot, perhaps consider introducing a new instrument into the mix which will change the dynamics and may help you out of the rut.

If writing music is something you’d like to do but struggle to actually put into practice, then perhaps choosing specific music composition software would be the right option for you.  An example would be Sibelius 7 Academic Student Edition which is sophisticated enough for top composers but simple enough for beginners and students.  This software is described as being ‘the easiest way to write music’ – and if you’re unsure that you’ll be able to operate it you have the peace of mind knowing it comes with 90 days of complimentary assisted support.

Writing lyrics is a totally different skill – some artists prefer to start with the lyrics and compose the music around them while others work in reverse.  You may find that, whilst you have the talent to write a great melody, you lack the ability to actually put words to your music.  Working in collaboration with a wordsmith is a pretty good idea – famous collaborations like Elton John and Bernie Taupin who worked separately with little interaction still managed to write masterpieces which remain popular today.

Whatever you choose – remember to have fun – you’re doing this because you want to – not because you have to!

This is a guest post by Nicola Winters on behalf of Phoenix Software, a student store that provides software for students.

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